KYIV. July 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainians, in general, do not consider themselves one people with Russians and feel their differences from Russians, according to a study by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF).
"There was a lot of talk about 'one people.' Our focus groups show completely different results than those shown by the Rating group. And to be honest, I have a lot of questions about the results that Rating gave. In fact, Ukrainians clearly distinguish themselves from Russians, they clearly believe that we are completely different, and this applies to all regions where our focus group studies were conducted, both in the east and in the west. Therefore, in the mass consciousness, we are not one people and, of course, we feel our complete difference from Russians. One of the main features of our difference is our love of freedom and the ability to say no to the authorities, in contrast to Russians," Director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future Vadym Denysenko said at a press conference on the results of the focus group study entitled "Who are we? Ukrainians' portrait through Ukrainians' eyes," hosted by Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the study, Ukrainians consider the following differences from Russians: decentralization of power in all forms; the presence of freedom of speech, the ability to disagree with the authorities; openness and sincerity; less aggression and bad manners; more hard work.
"Ukrainians have a clear identification – 'we are different.' The main difference from Russians is the attitude to the authorities. Ukrainians deny the sanctification of authorities in neighboring Russia, are critical of political leaders, and consider ineffective institutions to be the main problem for the development of the economy and society," the report said.
The focus group study was carried out by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future together with the sociological company New Image Marketing Group from June 10 to June 15, 2021 throughout Ukraine. The sample was 12 focus group studies (one focus group study = eight participants). Target audience: men and women aged 18 and over; three age categories: 18-30 years old, 31-54 years old, 55 years old and older; representatives of various types of settlements: regional centers, other cities (not regional centers) and villages; representatives of various fields of activity, income level and educational level.
As reported, according to a sociological study by the Rating group, the majority of Ukrainians, 55%, do not agree with the recent statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that "Russians and Ukrainians are one people that belongs to the same historical and spiritual space." At the same time, 41% of respondents agree with this statement.